The Blacklist season 6 episode 1 review: Who is Dr. Hans Koehler?

The BlacklistOn The Blacklist season 6 episode 1 on NBC Friday night, the series made it clear that they’re not holding anything back from the get-go.

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Let’s begin this review with Liz Keen and Jennifer, who have decided to embark on a series of rogue investigations with one goal and one goal only: Determine the true identity of one Raymond Reddington. This is not the man they thought him to be and now, the objective is trying to learn the truth.

Unfortunately, finding answers in this complicated world of lies and deceit is not easy, especially when one of the few people who could have presented them information is no longer among the living. Enter Dr. Hans Koehler. He is a prominent surgeon who knows a thing or two about fixing faces and helping people assume a completely different identity. He was doing that at the start of the episode for a man otherwise known as the Corsican, someone who was a notable assassin who got precisely what it was that he wanted — his face re-done and then Koehler dead on the other side of it. He and anyone else who knew his face over the course of tonight’s episode died.

For Liz, it was pretty clear that this was problematic, as were many tips on Koehler that Reddington sent them along the way. You see, Reddington never really wanted them to get to Koehler first. Instead, he just wanted some valuable information — intel on himself. Reddington, many years ago, went to Koehler in order to change his own face. That’s why he wanted the client list from him and that’s what he was really aiming for more so than anything else.

This brings us back to the central question at the heart of this episode: Is Reddington aware of what Liz knows? Has he figured this out? That’s the magic of this character — he always seems to be one step ahead. He has an awareness that, at the very least, his secret was almost outed at the end of last season that he’s not really her father. He needs to do what he can to preserve that now, and this includes finding Koehler and eliminating any evidence as to who he was beforehand. He did that here, and with the FBI’s help. He put on the guise of being collaborative when, as per usual, it was really all about himself.

But, Liz remains inquisitive

It was smart on Liz to play up her curiosity in Reddington’s past — not so much as an FBI agent, but more as a “daughter”. She made more of a personal plea to her “dad” to get information about why he wanted Koehler’s information and he did open up to her that his name was deleted on the flash drive he handed over. That was a secret he intended to keep, so this was him throwing her a bone otherwise.

Liz does still have at least one more chance, even if Koehler and the flash drive didn’t amount to much — hospitals nearby a coastal city in Delaware. This is where someone may have been admitted the night when Liz shot her actual father when she was only four. The fire and the aftermath of all of that is the main clue to her past and she knows that if there’s a way to get answers here, that could unlock everything. The problem is doing this without Reddington finding out. As she told Jennifer, this is a matter of when more so than if — he’s going to know.

Other odds and ends

As it turns out, Samar is already 100% (on paper) following her near-death experience last season. Is she really that way? We do think that the suggestion of memory loss may be there, but it could manifest itself a little more over time.

Meanwhile, tonight Ressler showed some apprehension over potentially continuing to work with Reddington given his past, and Cooper asked Liz to look inside herself to figure out whether or not it was really best to keep working with a man she did not trust. For now, she’s fine to continue it … but that may not be this way forever. She stopped short of telling Cooper everything, but did make it clear that there was a distinction with this Reddington a man she was once able to trust.

CarterMatt Verdict

A great start to The Blacklist season 6, and one that had everything from an action-packed bank robbery opening (proof that Reddington’s still got it) to a funny scene with him doing tai chi to some manipulation courtesy of Liz near the end. The student is on her way to becoming the master, but it’s clear that this is no ordinary master we’re dealing with. Reddington is a man with deep secrets and agendas and, more than likely, he will kill to keep them close to the vest.

Related News Be sure to get some more information on The Blacklist, including a preview for the next new episode

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